Tracking Macros Changed My Life  And It Can Change Yours Too

Tracking Macros Changed My Life And It Can Change Yours Too

Are you a yo-yo dieter failing to see results? Well, this could be your way out.

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Let me just start with this-- I've been there. As a very active high school student, I never really paid attention to what I was eating. Honestly, I kinda ate whatever I wanted...whenever I wanted. I never gained any weight or felt bad about myself because of these habits either. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't eating super unhealthy or anything, but if I wanted a large chocolate milkshake at the end of the night, I slurped it up with zero guilt.

Going into my freshman year of college, I kept this mentality, but I was working out substantially less. I wasn't playing a sport anymore, as I did in high school, and I wasn't going to the gym nearly as often either. Instead, I had hours of schoolwork on top of a demanding waitressing job on campus that took up most of my time. Due to this, the little free time I had became the time I spent with friends or just relaxing. By the end of my freshman year, I realized I had gained almost 20 pounds. I was completely caught off guard and fell into a state of utter guilt. How did I not see this happening right in front of me? I was defeated and nervous about what the future had in store if I kept up my habits of eating whatever I wanted and drinking almost every weekend.

When summer came around, I was determined to make a change and feel better about myself again. Because of this, I found myself caught up in yo-yo dieting, overdoing it on cardio, and majorly restricting myself with what I consumed. I was probably eating under 800 calories everyday and burning significantly more than that on the treadmill. The fear of holding on to this weight any longer pushed me into a dark place, and I lost 15 pounds by the time sophomore year started in August. I was proud of myself externally, but I knew I was doing it all wrong. Before I knew it, I was able to go an entire day with just a cup of coffee and a banana with peanut butter. I found myself fearing food and writing down everything I ate with the number of calories beside it out of my obsession to lose more and more. Every pound lost and compliment received drove me to eat less. Through it all, I denied ever having a bad relationship with food to anyone.

After a while of practicing this routine, I felt myself becoming weaker and more tired. I had trouble staying up past 10 P.M. and getting my work done. I could barely get up to go to class and often felt lightheaded. On top of it, I distanced myself from those around me-- I wasn't nearly as social as I was freshman year, and I felt super moody on top of that. I really just didn't want to do anything besides sleep and go to the gym.

This might sound cheesy, but I truly did have that "one-day" moment. It was a random Monday morning and I was on my way to my 9 A.M. class. I stopped into Starbucks and saw tables of friends and couples sitting down, drinking coffee, and eating bagels or breakfast sandwiches together before going to class. Most were smiling and laughing or talking about how fun their weekends were. As I stood in line, I stopped and thought to myself how it had really been months since I had done anything remotely similar to that. Thinking about eating a full bagel scared me...as bad as that sounds. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to feel free to eat what I want and go out on weekends with my friends. I didn't want chains around me anymore.

That's when I discovered the beauty of nutrition. I began following different fitness Instagram accounts and educating myself about nutrition and its parts. Before I knew it, I began eating a regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although I started small, as time went on, the size of my meals began to grow and I discovered what macro tracking is. I learned how to calculate my macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) based on my weight, height, and activity level. Once I had my numbers set in stone, I aimed to reach them every day. At first, it was super hard...I barely made it halfway to any of my counts, and honestly, I still find myself struggling sometimes as a busy college student to reach all my goals fully.

With my new and improved lifestyle, I've developed a healthy and sustainable relationship with the gym and food. Not only that but having something as concrete as macro tracking has allowed me to put my mind and energy into something other than how much I weigh. To be honest, it's kind of fun. Nutrition is interesting. Fueling your body properly and feeling good about it is so rewarding for me and many others. If you find yourself falling down the same path as I was-- yo-yo dieting, restriction, cardio only, and avoidance of social events-- this could be right for you, too.

I encourage you to look into other options and do! your! research! You will find that being educated about what you're putting in your body will lead to a much happier lifestyle and relationship with food.

For more information about macro tracking (what it is, how to do it, the benefits...), check out this link!

Put your best foot forward and strive to improve your overall health and well-being...one step at a time.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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